Yesterday I competed at my first ever CrossFit competition: Element Crossfit Challenge 2010. I was equal parts excited and nervous, but in the end it was both tough and a lots of fun.
After nearly two years of training I felt I was ready to join in on all the fun and participate in the men's scaled division. Out of 18 competitors I finished in 12th place, which is not bad at all. I had a few things working against me, including battling a lingering cold and missing nearly an entire minute of an AMRAP on account of a judge's error. And as one of the older competitors, it felt good to finish in a respectable position. Perhaps next year, with some more focused training, I could finish in the top 50th percentile. That said, many of the competitors in the scaled division were quite good; I'll have my work cut out for me in '11.
Here's how the day went down:
Event #1: Beep Test
Talk about a perfect way to get the day started: The infamous beep test. Going in my PR was 8.5 -- so it was with great delight that I made it all the way to 10.5. Wow! And I wasn't too far from 11 -- a slip on my last turn-around may have cost me a bit early. Very, very pleased with this result.
Event #2: Clean to thruster ladder
This event freaked me out, but in hindsight it wasn't bad at all. I totally regret not giving more in the pull-ups -- but still ecstatic that I could do prescribed pull-ups in the kipping style. I came agonizingly close to finishing the circuit at 155lbs, but I failed to keep it overhead. I am still unable to thruster more than 145lbs, but I am very close. I only managed 19 pull-ups, and I think that's where I lost some valuable points.
Event #3: 5 x deadlifts, 5 x pull-ups, 10 x kettle-bells: AMRAP in 8 minutes
This was a pisser because I started about 45 seconds late. My ref was still going over instructions with me when the clock started. I was extremely annoyed, and I'm sure it impacted on my performance. The judges only gave me 3 extra movements as consolation, but the damage was done. It definitely cost me an entire round, possibly two. I ended up with 8 full rounds plus three movements. That said, it was my best event of the day as the 10th best in the field.
Event #4: 10-1 clean & jerk, burpees
Wow, this was much tougher than I expected -- mostly because I had no legs left at this point. I was at near panic after the first two rounds, worried that I might not be able to finish. But I was able to chip away, and as the rounds decreased in volume my spirit rose. And I came very close to finishing in the time allotted: I completed three c&j when the 13 minute buzzer went off. Had I known I was that close I might have fought my way a bit better through that one. Final score: 13.3, putting me in 12th place.
In the end I was much sorer and tired than I thought I was going to be. My shoulders ached, my right hand was cut, my back was tight, and my right foot was mildly sprained. Ample recovery time and some Ibuprofen is definitely in order.
Primary take-away from this event: Competing is fun!
Check out all the final standings. Here are some photos I took at the event.